Back to School:Homework Cabinet and Chalkboard

Some DIY tips, and getting the girls ready for Back to School.


Chelsea:Tomorrow we start school, Anna. Are you excited to begin classes at an American high school? 

(Anna and her sister Elsa are on a two-year exchange program from Norway. They are staying at the HFIM (Home for Impoverished Millenials house at the invitation of Barbie Rowan (Chelsea's sister) one of the owners.)

Anna: I'm very excited and, how you say,, nervous. I hope I will understand the instructors. I have never gone to school where only English is spoken. 

Chelsea: You will be fine, your English's so good. I'm starting Middle School, this year so, I'm nervous, too. 

Anna: Where can we do our studies. Our room has no space for desks.

Chelsea: We will have a new study area in the dining room, downstairs. They are working on it now.

*Next Morning downstairs*

Meanwhile in the work room, an elf assemblies a selection of supplies and old furniture
 to make into a study area.

First a few acquired items for supplies. Our Dollar store provided containers(colored pill boxes and clear storage), colored art pad(bright paper nice and thin). Michael's stamps--in their promo bins. Small crayons and water color box from Dick Blick--only $2.49 each--adorable. Where to put it all?

I forgot to take a picture, before I started sawing on this. It's an old non-Mattel changing table, one drawer works, the others are fake. I decided to remove the front fixed drawer panel. I used a Dremel, but it was very messy. After filing and sanding---it turned out better. 

I popped the top off and painted it with NEW paint pens.

These are craft paint pens from Michael's, basically their store brand, Craft Smart. This set is only $8.00 US. So far they have worked on everything I have used them on. I clean my plastic items with alcohol first. These pens are alcohol dissolvable and clean-up. Which is great, and are far cheaper than the name brands. They leave a nice smooth finish, and I seldom do two coats, except on yellow and pink, which are the most translucent. They get stubby fast, so great for larger areas.

Here you can see the nice finish the blue paint pens left on this drawer. I did not paint the handles, but left them as is.

I used foam board covered with white contacts paper to do the back and can't even see my messy cut.  The top is painted blue also, cute three dimensional stickers from dollar store used on the drawer and top. I keep in mind, the Grand is a little girl, but she relates to Chelsea (who is imaginatively age 10.)

The Grand: I'm so creative Gramma. (Gramma nods yes, she is.)

Here is the back before I totally covered it in white covered foam board.

Now to make supplies to stock the cabinet with, first colored pencils made from bamboo skewers, and paint pens. 

Sanded the tips of, and then painted the sticks with paint pens, trimmed, sanded tops and then painted those with black and a silver band. The Grand was here today, and declared the pencils Fake Real, 

"See, Gramma, they almost work, they are Fake Real," 
as she feverishly had Chelsea drawing on her paper at the desk.

Cute little plastic book stack picked up in a grab bag---first coats. Had problems with these, finally used tiny brush dipped in craft pen paint, since I could easily clean them with alcohol.

This is the back of the OLD Barbie Back to School easel from early 1990's-- found at a thrift store for $1.99. Someone had left the batteries in it, but surprisingly---no rusty corrosion. I removed and properly placed batteries in recycle return box. (GREEN thing to do).

I cleaned the contacts, and surprisingly it still works. The clock at the top ticks, the buttons say encouragement sayings, and the slot for the pencil sharpener makes noise (w/o the sharpener, I may have to look for that on Ebay.) 

For the REDO, I left it the original color at this point, but refaced the green chalkboard with black chalkboard sticky paper. I used chalk pens to write on it. The center section was a piece of foam core with a free on-line map printout. The pin is in Chicago---for home base. 

 NEW, Great source for printable and cute ideas, myfroggystuff---printable bookcase of books.
 Perfect size as printed for the shelf. Please do not copy from here, but go to her site.

I used a piece of the paint pen packaging for a REDO and made an invisible clear tray for the chalk. Photos of making that, just didn't show. I plan to cover the back in white contact paper, so it disappears on the living room side. 
Or maybe I will make a visual bookcase out of it, with another printout.

NEW Chalk from bamboo skewers and paint. So cute. 
NEW Erasers are two thicknesses of stickum foam sheet, 
and top and bottom in orange/black stickum felt.
So if the chalk were real, the erasers would work, lol

An OLD 1:6 computer got an update. I painted the edge of the screen, added a slot for the disc, and a couple of painted nobs. The keyboard was missing, so I used stickum felt and foam. I pressed a piece of plastic canvas down hard and rubbed on the pink foam piece making ridged squares. 
Rolling a Q-tip in some silver paint (from paintpen),
 I brushed lightly across the ridges left from the canvas---instant keys. 
Outlined them with a fine tip Sharpie pen. The mousepad is black chalkboard plastic on purple foam, on black stickum felt. Mousie was in the grab bag from the thrift store with the computer.

Here is the work area set up. Mouse must be hanging off the side, or the cat got it?

The school storage shelf is well stocked. 
The bottom drawer holds plastic files(made from real plastic dividers)
 for homework, and mini-stickums and stickers.

The Paste and Modey-Podgey jars are a REDO of dessicant capsules(emptied) 
 from prescription bottles. The lids pry off easily and they are the perfect size. 
A plastic container of colored pencils, mini jars of glitter from
(NEW Dollar store nail decorations from packs of 8/$1.00).
NEW Erasers are made from pink foam stickum, two layers.
Assorted books. Scissors, glue, and tape recorder found in a small lunch box in a vintage accessories lot  from eBay. I always buy OLD if I can, a GREEN thing to do.

Anna:This will be a perfect work space of studying. I'm so excited to start American School today.

Elsa:I'm also excited to teach Scandinavian Culture and History to American students. Girls it is time for the school bus, hurry and get to packs ready. I want to take some pictures to send home to Norway. 

Barbie: Everyone smile, please. Chelsea you moved, let's try again.

Barbie: Now hold that pose, smile! 

Barbie: One more coming out the door---super!

Barbie: Hoping everyone has a wonderful first day at school, from the HFIM house on BarberryLane.

Thank you for visiting,
Barbie:Old New Green Redo.
 I will be happy to answer any mail or questions or comments. 

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All the opinions and photographs on this blog are my own, unless otherwise stated. 
 I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinion,
 or with products shown, or from where I shop. 
PLEASE do not use photos without linking back to this blog 
without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


1 comment:

Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.